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Report: Sports Saw 12% Increase in Streaming Time While Total Viewership Declined

Trevion Anglin

Sports streaming is hitting all new highs, according to a recent NPAW study. Titled “Video Streaming Industry Report H1 2022,” the report takes a look at specific trends in streaming consumption on both a regional and global scale over the past two years, sampling data from North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Pacific regions.

According to the report, the first half of 2022 saw substantial growth within the global video streaming industry, but sports viewing led the way in many areas. While numbers on streaming platforms were falling, sports viewership was on the rise. Years with big sporting events (Olympics, World Cups, etc.) saw a 12% year-over-year increase across video-on-demand (VoD) services, while linear experienced a similar 13% increase during the first six months of the year. These numbers are nearly double that of generic linear content during the same time period.

Despite the growth, these high sports viewership does come with a trade-off. While users spent more time per day watching sports, they did so in much shorter sessions, dropping on both VoD (-36%) and linear TV (-34%) from the previous years, according to NPAW.

Though linear TV did have some payoffs when it came to sports programming, it is still seeing a drop, especially in comparison to free ad-supported streaming (FAST) channel viewership. Ultimately, the NPAW report shows that sports are king, with other content being viewed in shorter amounts, and with less overall engagement.

Companies are taking note of this, and it’s the reason why were are beginning to see many events create their own exclusivity, with both the NFL and FIFA launching their very own streaming platforms. Sports are looking to reshape the global streaming landscape.

NPAW’s report also suggests that consumers are watching less TV overall. Time spent on video-on-demand (VoD) fell 11%, while linear TV dropped 13% in comparison to last year. Of course, a certain percentage of this could be explained by the further opening up of the world following early COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns.

Additional data shows that consumers not only spent fewer minutes per day on each service in the first half of 2022, but also viewed slightly fewer VoD titles per day than the previous year. Globally, an average VoD user watched an estimated three titles per day which serves as a 4% drop in the average daily number of titles from 2021, according to NPAW.

While numbers have been seeing a global reduction of average daily numbers of titles, average media duration is up by 6% in H1 2022 compared to H1 2021, NPAW also found.

North America yet again contained the highest count of users watching the longest titles in H1 2022, with an average of 40.5 minutes. Global average per title in other regions was at a lower number of 32.6 minutes, NPAW reports.

VoD also saw a slight uptick in average completion rate numbers in H1 2022, with a 2% rise of finished titles, primarily coming from Latin America and North America.

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